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Looking for ‘Second City’ for Startups? Stop at Lowell

110 Canal Street

07/21/2019
Boston Globe
By Letter to Editor

Scott Kirsner’s article “In search of a ‘second city’ for New England startups” (Business, July 15) left out the thriving startup culture that already exists in Lowell.

The city’s downtown Hamilton Canal Innovation District — just 45 minutes by train from Boston — is home to two business incubators, with close to 60 startups that have received more than $150 million in venture capital and Small Business Innovation Research program funding. Four university centers support high-tech and biotech startups with fabrication and test equipment, design development and manufacturing, and access to university mentoring and advisory services.

These advantages have attracted dozens of startups working in advanced instrumentation, medical devices, artificial intelligence, renewable energy, virtual reality, robotics, and information technology. The University of Massachusetts Lowell has industry partnerships with more than 1,000 businesses, including Lowell-based Kronos, and more than half of its 4,500 graduates each year are in STEM fields.

Not only do startups in Lowell have access to superb academic institutions, but they also receive support from the City of Lowell. Thanks to state Representative Thomas Golden Jr., the city and UMass Lowell have $500,000 available to retain startups. Additional resources are available to provide growing companies with flexible financing and other supports.

It’s no wonder companies like Fonative and KnipBio are relocating from Boston and other suburbs. Lowell is a place where ideas move seamlessly from concept to commercial success. Anyone looking for that “second city” for innovation should look here.

Jacquie Moloney
Chancellor
UMass Lowell

Eileen Donoghue
City manager
City of Lowell